Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Defending Vegas

Yeah... I'm still cranky.

And this has me extra cranky right now.

Yes, companies should be cutting back. Especially those that have gotten funds from the government. Big, lavish, over-the-top things of last year should be scaled back if your company is tanking.

But what some people don't seem to understand... times are just as tough in Vegas, perhaps tougher, as they are other places.

Vegas is a consumer/visitor centric place. The whole state of Nevada relies on the gaming revenues, and a heckuva lot of the residents of the dusty town of Vegas are tied in to the gaming industry.

When we were there last September was right about when things started to go very south for Vegas, and mildly south for everyone else. I think that two Nevada banks went belly-up during the days we were there - early goners in the mortgage crisis. While a lot of people who work at McDonald's across the country used their McMoney to McFinance a McMansion, Vegas had a HUGE housing growth in the years prior and people were all "hey, lemme in on that free money," which lead to people who could not afford investment homes trying to juggle it. Vegas is a town that has a lot of home renters - used to not be so risky for the renters, but as people pocketed rent to pay their own bills and let their rented homes go into forclosure, people suffered.

Their visitor numbers have dropped to dismal levels. Which means people suffer. Hotel and casino employees get hours cut back, or get laid off, and just generally don't get the tips they were getting - Vegas is also a very tip-reliant system - and they suffer.

So Wells Fargo.... forget the over-the-top-ness of former years, just do the plane tickets (hey, the airlines can also use the business) and hotels for free, a nice celebratory dinner somewhere (waiters could use the tips), but let them go... I have a feeling the people who would be going on that trip have some extra cash to throw around that town, and it could certainly use it.

And as someone who might not get my usual spring trip to Vegas (of course, sure, right after we bleepin' get Platinum status, we won't be able to use it) I'm more than happy to let the government foot the bill for airfare and the hotels to get some people in that town who can spread around a little bit of money. They do need it out there.

1 comment:

JJ (Lady Di) said...

I have to admit, I thought the same thing when I heard about WF and LV. Las Vegas needs the money that the trip could bring in, but WF can quite honestly do it as a "normal" person and not as a multimillion (billion?)-aire. I think they just don't realize that even though they say "It's not part of the bail-out money" it's not just that that ticks us tax payers off. It's the fact that we have to cut back and stuff like trips and such are usually the first to do when we are going into the red. The banks are complaining that part of the reason they are having so much problems is because people are over-extended on their credit cards and are living over their means - but we are watching them doing the exact same thing, they just seem to have an easier time getting credit than we do at this moment.